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WIN MORE WORK WITH GRADE TECHNOLOGY

If the price of grade control or fear of technology is keeping you from putting one of these systems to work, consider this: It’s quickly reaching the point where you may not be competitive without it. Grade technology can save tens of thousands of dollars on a typical project — giving contractors who use it a huge bidding advantage. And it can pay for itself in just a few projects. Here’s how:

Create accurate, winning bids
Usually when we talk about grade control, we focus on its operator-assistance features. But the technology delivers big benefits long before your operators ever take a seat behind the controls.

Most projects start with a 2D map of the plan for the job, often called a topo, which includes all the site’s measurements and elevation changes. With that map, the engineer creates the overall site design, noting all buildings, underground utilities, parking lots and other structures. That information is what you use to bid the project — verifying utilities, estimating how much material needs to be moved, checking cut-and-fill distances and identifying what equipment will get the job done most efficiently.

Can that work be done manually? Sure, but it’s a time-consuming effort that invariably involves a lot of guesswork. Using grade technology simplifies the process by automatically confirming measurements, distances and material requirements — so you create a more accurate estimate that results in a more competitive bid. That increases not just your chances of winning the work but also of completing it profitably.

Reduce time and expense on the job
Once you win the job, you can use grade technology to build a 3D model with cut-and-fill maps and surface coordinates — then upload it right to the machines that will be doing the work. Operators use that plan to complete the project quickly and accurately.

In the cab, grade control systems automate machine functions and guide operators to target in rough, fine and finish grading applications. That helps you get work done in fewer passes, burn less fuel, reduce machine hours and component wear, eliminate material overruns and move on to the next project faster.

Plus, with grade control, you don’t need extra workers to verify control points or measurements while you’re clearing the site, stripping or respreading topsoil, or placing aggregate or stone. That can lead to significant savings in labor costs as well as time, not to mention the safety benefits of having less people working around heavy equipment.

Get started and start saving
Given how much time and money grade technology can shave off a project, it’s easy to see why contractors who are using it have a big advantage when it comes to winning bids — and why it’s becoming a common feature on today’s new machines. You’ll find grade control standard on next generation excavators and as an option on dozers and motor graders.

Not sure where or how to begin with grade control? Your Cat® dealer can help you select from the many options available, ranging from simple 2D systems (a great way to get your feet wet) up to full-blown GNSS satellite or GPS laser systems. The important thing isn’t where you start. It’s that you get started — so you don’t get left behind.